Dawn of a New Year, The

Category: Reflections

By Andrew Mateyak

On the first day of each New Year, I get up at around 5:00 am to watch the sun rise. I pick a spot where there is a good view—the beach, a tree, a basketball court. This year I have chosen the roof.

As I sit down, I think about all that happened to me last year—and it was a lot. My beautiful niece and two cute nephews had their first birthdays. I made new friends on my last trip to Manila. I took my first trip across the Pacific, to North America. All wonderful memories. I thank God for each one and then tuck them away, ready to be recalled whenever I need a boost.

Of course, I also have other memories that aren’t so happy: episodes of bad health, disagreements with my parents, good friends moving so far away that I probably won’t see them again, the death of my dog Thalia, hopes that didn’t come to pass. I thank God for these experiences too, because even though they weren’t so pleasant, He has promised that “all things work together for good to those who love Him.”[[Romans 8:28]] know these events have already been good for me because I learned from them, and more good may yet come from them. I say farewell to them, since I have no further use for them. They have served their purpose in my life, so I let them go.

As the sun begins to rise, I say my last goodbyes to the old year and welcome the New Year with a short prayer to my heavenly Father. I ask Him for guidance and the wisdom to make the right choices in the year ahead. I ask Him for strength and courage to make it through the tough times that are inevitable. I ask Him for love and the ability to show His love to those closest to me, as well as to the new people I will meet. And most importantly, I ask Him to help me always do what He wants me to do. It says in the book of Psalms, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.”[[Psalm 37:23]]

I know that if I start my year on the right foot, it will go a lot smoother and have fewer problems than if I rush into it haphazardly after having just come out of the busy Christmas season and New Year’s celebrations. A little quiet time with the Lord is a wonderful way to start the New Year. It doesn’t take much time. I just find a quiet spot, thank the Lord for the past year, and dedicate the new one to Him.

The old year has passed and the New Year is here. We can go into it positively, knowing that with God’s help, wisdom, and love we can make a difference in this world.

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It’s really thrilling to look back and see your own progress—to look back down that rugged mountain road you’ve just come over and to see you’re really getting somewhere! But it’s even more exciting to look forward and up to the heights you’re soon to attain and views you’re soon to thrill to if you keep climbing, winning, and don’t quit.—David Brandt Berg